Does the Thirty Years War Mark an Important Watershed in European Warfare
The Thirty Year War marks the last of its kind—a religious conflict fought under political guises. Unlike other religious wars, however, the Thirty Years War is known much more for its destruction, destitution, and lingering consequences:All this was effected by religion. Religion alone could have rendered possible all that was accomplished, but it was far from being the SOLE motive of the war. Had not private advantages and state interests been closely connected with it, vain and powerless would have been the arguments of theologians. and the cry of the people would never have met with princes so willing to espouse their cause, nor the new doctrines have found such numerous, brave, and persevering champions. The Reformation is undoubtedly owing in a great measure to the invincible power of truth, or of opinions which were held as such. The abuses in the old church, the absurdity of many of its dogmas, the extravagance of its requisitions, necessarily revolted the tempers of men, already half-won with the promise of a better light, and favorably disposed them towards the new doctrines. The charm of independence, the rich plunder of monastic institutions, made the Reformation attractive in the eyes of princes and tended not a little to strengthen their inward convictions (Schiller, 2006, p. 2).Undoubtedly, Europe had suffered through centuries of warfare before the Thirty Years War started in 1618. and the history of warfare, sadly, did not end after the Thirty Years War ended in 1648. In fact, shortly after the war in 1945, some historians tried to revise the traditional image of the Thirty Years War by:…suggesting that the numerous complaints about the destruction of towns, the cruelty of soldiers, and in general about unmitigated plunder, pillage and atrocities should not really be taken seriously.